As a leader one of the hardest things is to find enough time in the day. I find most of the executives we work with complain about how to grow their teams so they can be less involved. On average leaders will tell us they spend less that 15% of their time in strategic creativity. Now that is scary.
So what can you do to gain time as a leader?
1. First look at how well you are with developing your leaders. The more you have them owning and leading projects the more horsepower you will have on the team. In order to do this you need to make sure you clearly and succinctly communicate the WHY and WHAT of a project and allow them to manage the HOW.
2. Schedule two hour blocks of time a day for strategic work. This one thing alone get you out of crisis mode. I find so many leaders are going from meeting to meeting that they rarely get time to prioritize, plan and think strategically about upcoming projects. This then leads them to dealing with things as they pop up. Not fun for you and definitely not fun for your team. If you don’t think you can do two hours a day start with two days a week with two hours on each day blocked off. Within short order you will be at five days a week.
3. Teach thinking not doing. When your direct reports come to you with a problem your brain’s first reaction is to naturally find a solution. Curb your desire to do that and instead teach them a process for thinking through the problem that they can duplicate over and over. In Outcome Leadership we spend a lot of time on this because the key to scalability is creating systems. Matter-of-fact, Les McKeown in his book Predictable Success says that one of the big predictors of success is an organizations ability to have a clear decision making process.
So now that you have extra time, make sure you use it to think forward rather than fall back on old habits. As your team grows so will your ability to influence great change in your company.